Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Head To Head

2018 Subaru Forester VS 2018 Toyota RAV4

2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i SUV2018 Toyota RAV4 LE SUV
Subaru Forester 2.5i Toyota RAV4 LE
STARTING MSRP $22,795 $24,510
ALL-WHEEL DRIVE Standard Available for an added $1,400
HORSEPOWER 170@5800 RPM 176@6000 RPM
Passenger Volume (cubic feet) 108.3 101.9
2018 Subaru Forester SUV

Subaru Forester vs. Toyota RAV4: Head-to-Head Comparison

Against the Toyota Competition, Off the Beaten SUV Path, 2018 Forester 2.5i Forges Ahead

With two decades of rugged and storied tradition under its belt, nary a five-passenger SUV can be found to match wits with the likes of the Subaru Forester. Back for a new 2018 model year, the latest Subaru crossover continues to show why it's favored among all-terrain driving enthusiasts. It's not just for performance prowess and excellent fuel economy for the off-grid, either, but for safety and driver-assist features at the head of the trail as well. Of course, that's not to mention creature comforts and technological conveniences galore. Set up base camp with our Tucson, AZ Subaru dealer and see for yourself just a few of the ways 2018 Forester excels against segment mainstays like the Toyota RAV4. We think you'll discover our crossover hits all the compass points ahead of its rival.

Subaru Forester for sale in Tucson, AZ

Compare Performance & Capability

  • RAV4 offers more standard horsepower, 176 to 170
  • Forester offers more available horsepower, 250 to 176, even coming in ahead of RAV4 Hybrid, which offers 194 net horsepower
  • Forester puts out more torque, 174 pound-feet of turning and pulling power to 172
  • You'll find more ground clearance in the Forester too: 8.7 inches to 6.1

Drivers looking to head out of the way around the Tucson, AZ area are looking for capability, and that means the equipment to make the grade – literally, owing to our neighborhood's diverse geography.

  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive comes standard with the Forester, while an AWD RAV4 will cost you an extra $1,400 on top of the base price
  • Forester offers both a six-speed manual transmission and a Lineartronic® CVT (Auto), RAV4 only offers an automatic
Subaru Forester Interior

Compare Technology & Features

  • Forester is far roomier than RAV4, with 108.3 cubic feet of passenger space to 101.9
  • Subaru commands edges in front head and leg room, rear head, leg and shoulder room, as opposed to the smaller RAV4
  • That's at a more modest investment, too, around a total MSRP of $23,710, compared to its Toyota rival at approximately $25,505

Opt for a new 2018 Forester, and you can take advantage of a fully loaded cockpit for all your excursions. Base models incorporate a sizable SUBARU STARLINK 6.2-inch Multimedia touchscreen infotainment system, complete with the listening options of Pandora, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Aha, and an HD Radio, plus the connectivity of USB and Bluetooth. Toyota RAV4 might offer a comparable 6.1-inch Entune Audio system, but factor in a standard rear-view camera and the ability to take a trailerful up to 1,500 pounds in tow, among other standouts. The choice of a new Forester is clear, and at a more cost-effective bottom line.

Subaru Forester for sale in Tucson, AZ

Compare Safety & Security

  • Upper Forester trims feature a wheel spin-reducing X-MODE that works in tandem with AWD, whereas no comparable mode presents in RAV4
  • Forester showcases the safe incline management capability of Hill Descent Control, while RAV4 offers only Hill Start Assist Control
  • You can even find Active Torque Vectoring in higher Forester trims for cornering precision; no similar mode exists in RAV4

The Subaru commitment to safety is on prominent display in the new Forester. Ascend the trim line, and you'll find available EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, bringing together a suite of features from Adaptive Cruise Control and a Pre-collision Braking System to Lane Departure and Sway Warning and Lane Keep Assist. Plus, coming standard throughout, Vehicle Dynamics Control with a Traction Control System helps keep the off-road ride on an even keel. The new RAV4 offers comparable Toyota Safety Sense P and Star Safety Systems. But although both Subaru and Toyota took home a 2018 TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the IIHS, Forester scored a Marginal rating in passenger-side crash testing, while RAV4 rated poorly.

Forester vs RAV4 Trim Level Showdown

Base Trim Levels: the Forester 2.5i vs. The RAV4 LE

  • The Subaru Forester 2.5i is priced lower than the Toyota RAV4 LE, offering legendary durability, versatility, and safety features.
  • The Forester 2.5i and RAV4 LE both come with three years/36,000 miles of basic warranty coverage as well as a five-year/60,000 powertrain warranty.
  • Both models come with plenty of cargo space for you to bring all of your gear along for the ride.
  • If you’re looking for technology, you’re in luck. Both SUVs comes with infotainment systems, USB connectivity, and Bluetooth.
  • Get incredible fuel efficiency in the new Forester. The Forester 2.5i averages up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway, while the RAV4 LE only averages 29 miles per gallon on the highway.
  • The Forester has a lower base curb weight than the RAV4 aiding in its agility and fuel efficiency.
  • Unlike the RAV4 LE, the Forester 2.5i CVT comes standard with Subaru’s exclusive Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system for better handling and control off-road.
  • Both SUVs seat up to five passengers, but the Foresters has more available passenger volume for a comfortable ride during extended trips.
  • The Forester has a higher ground clearance than the RAV4 allowing you to get off-road with ease.
  • The Forester also comes with a standard manual transmission and an available automatic transmission, while the RAV4 only offers a continuously variable automatic transmission across the board on all models.

Top Trim Levels: the Forester 2.0XT Touring vs. The RAV4 Platinum

  • The Forester 2.0XT Touring is powered by a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine producing 258 pound-feet of torque. The RAV4 Platinum’s most powerful engine only puts out 176 horsepower.
  • Unlike the RAV4 Platinum, the Forester 2.0XT Touring offers available leather seats for added luxury and class. The Forester also comes with premium materials for refinement you and your family will enjoy.


Set a Course to Explore the New Subaru Forester Here in Tucson, AZ

If you're eager to experience a whole new kind of drive time here in beautiful, sunny southern Arizona, you'll find new horizons here at Tucson Subaru. Head over to our 4901 N. Oracle Rd. showroom, and we'll introduce you to even more of what you can expect from a seasoned traveler, time-honored, tested and proven by Mother Nature. Stop by for a spin in the new 2018 Subaru Forester today!

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